Project Zomboid is an open-ended zombie-infested sandbox that asks one simple question – how will you die?
User reviews: Very Positive (5,775 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 8, 2013

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game may or may not change significantly over the course of development. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you may want to wait until the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“Project Zomboid is a much more ambitious game than we could ever have hoped to fund ourselves. It has grown massively over the years, we've had our ups and downs, but find ourselves in a stable financial situation with an overwhelmingly positive reaction from the Steam community. We hope you will join us, but if not we understand. If you're not ready to jump in yet, then please consider us when we break out of Early Access. We have a demo too, if you'd like to give the game a try. Please be aware there may be a few compatibility glitches, but these can always be resolved by either turning off the Steam overlay for the game, or turning off 3D models on older cards.

How often do we update the community?

We have weekly newsletters, known as 'Mondoid's, which we publish on our site and on the Steam announcements every Monday (unsurprisingly) as a small tonic to the depressing 'back to work' feeling. These detail what we've been up to during the week, often with sneak peeks of upcoming features, interviews, videos and all that goodness. We've had an unbroken chain of Mondoids for well over a year now, and plan to continue them as long as Project Zomboid is developed. We also communicate with our community directly on our own forums and Steam forums, often with changelists for upcoming builds.

How often do we update?

We have a reputation that seems to diverge greatly when it comes to update frequency depending on who you ask. Many consider our game frequently updated, many consider us slow. In recent times it’s rare we don’t have a release within a month (including beta releases), and these always contain new gameplay features or major tweaks to the gameplay.

Some features, particularly NPCs, have taken a long time to implement. This is largely out of our commitment to getting the features right and them not disappointing on release, but it should be noted that we make no apology for delaying their release until we feel they would be enjoyed, live up to people’s expectations, and most importantly do not have a detrimental effect on the gameplay or stability of the game.

Here is a list of recent update dates. It should be noted that full releases often contain many more features than previous beta releases and for those looking for new content can often be considered distinct releases within themselves.

13th Oct - Build 29
22nd Sept - Build 29 (beta)
2nd Sept - Build 28
4th Aug - Build 28 (beta)
7th June - Build 27

We will admit to a few long waits between updates in the past, but we feel from community feedback that the majority of our customers are very satisfied with the development of the game. It should be pointed out too that the game has significant modding support, with map editors and full unrestricted lua modding access. We have a vibrant modding community that can help plug the gap between updates. It should also be taken into consideration that the game is already very far through development, to the point we have had recently discovered the first known 1000+ hour player - There is a lot of content to enjoy in the game already and we firmly and proudly believe it worth its current price as it stands. Please consider reading some reviews if you are still unsure about the content of the game or the release frequency.

Development Costs

Here we hope to give you a better idea of how the sales revenue from Project Zomboid will support development of the game. While we will keep particular developers salaries confidential, we would like to offer a breakdown of developer and office locations, along with the average rent costs, reported on http://www.numbeo.com/ for the Indie Stone offices, along with each developer's location to give you an idea of relative studio costs. It's become clear to us recently how significantly this factors into Early Access games chance of continuing development and we hope others will follow suit in divulging this information.

All percentages are in comparison to New York City (100%) - Other examples would be San Francisco (98.66%), London (93.81%), Moscow (52.71%) and Delhi (9.53%). The lower the % the further your purchase of an Early Access game will go to fund development (or more crucially how long that money will last), as accommodation costs correlate pretty closely with expected salaries and costs of living and working in that location. (Please note that in several cases the developer lives sufficiently outside the given city to make the actual %s likely much lower than reported)

3x Developers + Office
Newcastle Upon Tyne, United Kingdom - 32.37%

1x Developer
Brighton, United Kingdom - 56.37%

1x Developer
Toronto, Canada - 51.78%

1x Developer
Surrey, Canada - 30.87%

1x Developer
Lille, France - 31.59%

Monthly development costs are currently recouped within approximately the first 1.5 weeks of the month on average, which means at present each month produces extra funds to further develop the game should sales dry up. This does not include sales or other promotions.

What if PZ stopped making any money tomorrow?

The Indie Stone have made sufficient sales since November last year to ensure that if the game stopped selling any copies tomorrow, the entire PZ dev team could carry on funded development as at present, with no reduction in workforce, for at least the next two years, potentially longer. This would not be an ideal situation for us, of course, but we are committed to finishing every major planned feature before we consider moving the game to 1.0.

In the worst (and least likely) possible of financial cases that required the disbandment of all paid developers of the game, 4 of the listed developers are directors of The Indie Stone with an invested interest in the success of the game and company, who would cut their income significantly and/or supplement development of the game with other work to get through any financial difficulties. Despite this no doubt causing progress to slow significantly, the 4 directors hold all required skills to continue development of the game during this nightmare scenario.

Details of major milestones can be found below.

What is required for 1.0?

Two major features are yet to be implemented into the game, both of which are currently in full-time uninterrupted development each with dedicated full-time developer support. These are:

NPCS - A far reaching and in-depth NPC system with character relationships, personalities, and an emergent story engine that allows for diverse and emergent character based zombie survival story unique to every playthrough. This also includes the tutorial, a return of Kate and Baldspot who starred in the early alphas of the game.

Vehicles - Fully physics modelled 3D vehicles, siphoning petrol, mechanics skills.

Several features require either significant modifications, rewrites or completion before we could consider 1.0.

Map completion - We still have a major city, an army base, more wilderness, and several small towns to implement to the game map.

UI Rewrite - The UI isn’t perfect by any stretch. We would like to get a more intuitive and ergonomic UI system implemented.

Stealth / Combat - New animations to allow for stealth mechanics (looking round corners, crouching behind walls, cover etc) as well as a rewrite of the combat system to leverage new animations to make combat more involved, intuitive and fluid.

We’ve been aiming for these to be completed by the end of the year, but as it seems the end of the year is looming toward us like an unstoppable army of the undead, it seems more likely it will fall into Q1 next year. However, this too is not set in stone. We tend to avoid ETAs because Early Access development in particular is often filled with unknowns and we want to ensure we get these highly anticipated features right.

In the meantime however we will continue to update the game and provide new features for our community to play with. One of our developers full time responsibility is providing frequent and new items, crafting recipes, skills and survival gameplay elements to fill out any holes in gameplay, and provide frequent feature rich game updates in line with community feedback, while the other developers focus on finishing these specific remaining major features.

What about after 1.0?

At this point, once we feel we have fulfilled every promise we gave when the Project Zomboid site first launched (except the last one, ahem, ignore that. Absolutely no one wanted that, it turned out), as well as the extra things detailed above, and the game is sufficiently polished and bug free, we will launch the game as 1.0 and leave Early Access.

What happens at this point depends entirely on whether the game is making money or not, but given the past solid performance of the game we see no reason why it shouldn’t be. Several developers within the team will likely start exploring our second project at this point, however we have dedicated and passionate developers who were brought into the company via the Project Zomboid modding community, emotionally invested in the game, who are already a big part of the development and communicating with the community. As long as Project Zomboid is making enough to support their continued development of the game, and they are happy to continue working on it (which seems likely), we will continue making Project Zomboid indefinitely as long as there is interest.

That all said, we can’t make any solid promises beyond the 1.0 mark, however there are countless things we would love to do that go way beyond 1.0 and sales make us confident that we’ll get the opportunity to explore them. Truth be told, given that it was Zomboid that put the money in the bank in the first place, as long as our company is secure and we can fund any other project's development comfortably, it's very probable we'd be willing to put some money back into the game beyond the point it's sustaining itself if there are any features in particular we can't bear to leave out of the game.”

How long will this game be in Early Access?

“See above!”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“See above!”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“See above!”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“It will likely be £5, $8 more expensive once we hit 1.0. Due to our commitment to making sure early adopters get the cheapest price in appreciation of their early support, we will never appear on bundles, or in sales that take it to or below the original alpha price of £5, $8 until a long time post 1.0. This commitment also means that, until 1.0 and the price increase, we will never be willing to go beyond a 40% sale.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“See above!”
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"One of the most depressing video games you will ever play. In a good way."

Recent updates View all (34)

October 20

All the Small Things

Hello Survivor! A Mondoid of dev-nuggets this week, but hopefully you’ll find them to be nuggets of gold rather than… other substances that are occasionally found in nugget-form.

There’s quite an important note for Linux PZ server hosts at the foot of this Mondoid too, by the way, so please scroll down immediately if you’ve just realised that we’re talking directly to you!
For everyone still on this paragraph though, let’s Mondoid!

BLINDCODER’S MARVELLOUS MAPPAGE
First off a super-quick mention, amidst sighs of adoration and love, for Blindcoder’s amazingPZ map.  It’s pushed a remarkable 9.65 TB of data SO FAR this month, and he’s currently hard at work generating build 29′s map. It’s on track to be released later this week. Thanks Blindcoder, TIS and the community all thank you for your travails!

LOVELY MARTIN
As you might recall, a while back a chance meeting in the new office building reunited Lemmy and Binky with a long-lost colleague from their distant AAA past. Martin the lovely Animation Man is currently on-board with the PZ team, and has now gone over all the current anims in the game on a polish/tweak run.

His task right now is on the stealth anims. These include movements like sneaking along walls, crouch sneak movement (instead of just aiming weapon/walking), peeking around corners and others of a crafty ilk.

This is all a part of our overall plan to make the looting game a lot more built around stealthing around the town and trying to avoid attention. We’ll show a few examples of his work and its integration, as well as badgering him for a bit of a Q and A in future Mondoids.

NPC MANEUVER TOOL
Binky’s been busy finishing off a lovely tool to help toward NPC movement, to further make characters move in a believable way. Its functionality that was once upon a time coded directly into the NPC build of the game, but this proved way too cumbersome to use and maintain. Now it will be a nice external tool that will allow us to create a library of maneuvers that a character can do to move from one location to another. These can then be pieced together, and chosen based on personality or possible military training of the NPC in question.

We did actually do a video long long ago of the results of the early in-game tool, which you can witness once again here. YES, we’re finally doing re-runs! Fear not though. we have a new video for you too!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fVMR4pcvtAA


FMOD SOUND SYSTEM
For the longest time our sounds have been put through OpenAL, which unfortunately led to a fair few incompatibilities on a lot of people’s systems in which they couldn’t get directional sound working properly. This has been a long-term irk that has rankled, and as such we’re looking to move to the much more AAA FMOD sound system. This is totally funky, and offers us a lot of extra things into the bargain that should make the sound in Project Zomboid a ton better. Here’s a little video of our experimentation:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwEcwOIAE4U

It’s not ready to go yet, and we have to license the library before we’d be able to distribute it, but this will provide a much more immersive soundscape in Project Zomboid. It’ll make distant sounds much more realistic and atmospheric, provide reverb and other effects such as having the world geometry affect the attributes of the sound, as well as to provide much better supported 3D sound and more consistent volumes, and hordes will really sound like hordes with many many groaning voices creating a sea of unsettling sound as you approach a densely populated area. Helicopters will also be less likely to burst eardrums.

IMPORTANT THING TO READ FOR PZ SERVER HOSTS
There’s been a really nasty security bug announced in Java over the weekend, of note to server hosts.

Windows Server Hosts:
We’ve sent an update out via steam, please make sure you update and then restart the gameserver.

Linux Server Hosts:
An update has not yet been released by Debian or Ubuntu for all of the bugs.
Debian server hosts can check here to see when an update is released: https://security-tracker.debian.org/tracker/CVE-2014-6519

Ubuntu server hosts can check here: http://people.canonical.com/~ubuntu-security/cve/2014/CVE-2014-6519.html

Server hosts can update OS via the command “apt-get update && apt-get upgrade -y”
Server hosts like Nitrado should already be aware of this, and will apply upgrades without prompting, only those hosting ProjectZomboid servers on VPSs or dedicate servers should upgrade.

This security vulnerability allows the remote modification of java code, those hosting Project Zomboid gameservers on Linux should watch the link for the OS they’re running, and apply the patches immediately. You should restart the gameserver after you’ve applied the patches in order to bring the patch into effect.

Everyone else:
Due to the nature of the way these bugs work, issues only mainly affect server hosts. We do recommend that you keep your computers patched anyway, but you don’t need to worry about Project Zomboid, this is preventative maintenance to make multi-player servers safer for everyone.

Today’s image courtesy of Coolflat (Ed.: Visible on our own blogpost, as Steam doesn't have header images.)

Be sure to check the upcoming version post and subscribe to our newsletter to be sure you won’t miss anything! That’s it for now. Thanks so much for living and dying in our game! Love y’all.

9 comments Read more

October 13

29: Going Live

Hey survivors, bit of a general update-y Mondoid today – running simultaneously to Build 29 being pushed beyond the cosy confines of our IWBUMS test branch and out into the big wide world. So…
 
Build 29! Woo!
The latest version of PZ is now official! If you’ve been keeping clear of our test branch then now is the time to dive back into the Knox Event – new sounds, scavenging, melee revamp, bug fixes, translations. All that jazz, which can be looked at in greater depth right here. Once we’re sure there are no unexpected bumps in the build roll-out we’ll get in touch with Desura and get PZ updated over there as well.
 
 
Multiplayer Improvement
Since the inception of Zomboid online play, we’ve all seen increased lag as the number of players on a server begins to tot up. With the released version of Build 29, however, we think that Kirrus, RJ, BryBry and EasyP have made some significant improvements. It should be noted here, that we all deeply love BryBry. And so should you.

Servers were pausing for the briefest of moments when new players joined/left, which clearly became something of an exponential issue the busier the map became. We think we’ve nixed this, and internally have had a 29.3 server with 10 players and absolutely no lag. We need to get you guys and girls trying it out in the wild to make sure, but we’re certainly hoping that your online experience will be somewhat improved.
 
Radio: What’s New?
As discussed in a previous Mondoid, Will has been busy concocting radio and TV channels for you to listen into while you forage, fight and fend off the undead. There’ll two broadcasts from every radio station and TV channel to tune into every 24 hours, and a fixed narrative timeline for them all to follow.
At the moment portable radios have a news channel, a talk radio channel, a public broadcast station and (although Will is regretting it) a wavelength devoted to Country Music. Those watching TV, meanwhile, will have the option of tuning into News, News Commentary, a shopping channel, a kids channel, a ‘Life and Living’ survival channel and (of course) a cookery show.
We’ve also now had the feedback on our (forever secret!) outbreak lore from a top specialist in infectious diseases at a London university – who’s presumably a bit busy right now what with world events. As such the next step will be to feed his tweaks and suggestions into the body of the radio and TV broadcasts, as well as write a few extra news channels to give you a true feeling of ‘channel hopping’ as you flick through coverage of the disaster.
When all that’s done, after a final polish, the spreadsheet will be passed over for integration into the game – hopefully to appear en masse in either the next build or the one after.
 
Future Builds
The basic plan is that Build 30 will feature the Medical revamp, while Build 31 will herald the start of ‘Operation: Fix Late Game By Killing You Before You Get There’. As a taster, here’s the WIP health screen with multiple wounds inflicted.

http://projectzomboid.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/health.png

It’s also worth noting at this point that since we now have full time animator we’ll be looking to adding limps and assisted walking that will play heavily into the medical system – as well as putting an increasingly mobile Kate back into the game. In the background, meanwhile, work has begun on an extremely cool new map location (still some way off, so we won’t start hinting yet) while background work continues on all the other major systems required for 1.0.
 
Thanks for Mondoiding everyone!

Today’s Header Image from Steam User Fix’t Fastah (Ed.: Visible on our own blogpost, as Steam doesn't have header images.)! Be sure to check the upcoming version post and subscribe to our newsletter to be sure you won’t miss anything!

That’s it for now. Thanks so much for living and dying in our game! Love y’all.

38 comments Read more
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Reviews

“What can I say? This game's interface looks so simplistic by today's standards, and yet the Indie Stone team has managed to possibly create one of the best post-apocalyptic zombie survival games in existence to date.”
Max Power! (105 hrs)

“Most realistic zombie apocalypse scenario game to date.”
democar821 (81 hrs)

“The gameplay is surprisingly addicting, sometimes I look at the clock and wonder where the last 4 hours went, but looking at my fort shows me where they went.”
syfy2K4 (1,021 hrs)

About This Game

Project Zomboid is an open-ended zombie-infested sandbox. It asks one simple question – how will you die?

In the towns of Muldraugh and West Point, survivors must loot houses, build defences and do their utmost to delay their inevitable death day by day. No help is coming – your continued survival relies on your own cunning, luck and ability to evade a relentless horde.

Current Features


  • Hard-core Sandbox Zombie Survival Game with a focus on realistic survival.
  • Online multiplayer survival with persistent player run servers.
  • Full line of sight system and real-time lighting, sound and visibility mechanics. Hide in the shadows, keep quiet and keep the lights off at night, or at least hang sheets over the windows.
  • Vast and growing map (loosely based on a real world location) for you to explore, loot and set up your fortress. Check out Blindcoder’s map project: http://pzmap.crash-override.net/
  • Use tools and items to craft weapons, barricade and cook. You can even build zombie proof forts by chopping trees, sawing wood and scavenging supplies.
  • Deal with depression, boredom, hunger, thirst and illness while trying to survive.
  • Day turns to night. The electricity falters. Hordes migrate. Winter draws in. Society is in freefall.
  • Farming, trapping, fishing, carpentry, character customization, skills and perks that develop based on what you do in-game.
  • Hundreds of zombies with swarm mechanics and in-depth visual and hearing systems.
  • Proper zombies that don’t run. (Unless you tell them to in the sandbox menu).
  • A ton of amazing atmospheric music tracks by the prodigy that is Zach Beever.
  • Instant action ‘Last Stand’ mode, on top of our Sandbox and Survival
  • Full, open and powerful Lua modding support.

    We’re a small team at the moment, but we’re also committed to providing the following:

    planned Features:


  • The return of our PZ Stories mode that also serves as first ever tutorial actively trying to kill you at every turn. Kate and Baldspot return!
  • In-depth and varied NPC encounters driven in a persistent world, powered by a metagame system that turns each play-through into your very own zombie survival movie with emergent narrative gameplay.
  • Engine upgrade to make the most of your graphics card as well as your processor
  • Constant expansion of the countryside and cities around Muldraugh and West Point
  • Full wilderness survival systems, animals and hunting for food.
  • More items, crafting recipes, weapons and gameplay systems.
  • Steam Workshop and Achievements support
  • Game pad support
  • Local 4 player split-screen co-op

For more details on the game visit or follow us on @theindiestone or visit http://www.projectzomboid.com

A huge thanks to the wonderful MathasGames and Dean Cutty for making the awesome intro video. If you love indie games their channels are well worth a sub.

System Requirements

PC
Mac
Linux
    • Nb. This is an Early Access game. A demo has been provided so you can be sure the game runs on your set-up to your satisfaction.

      Radeon 4xxx series (or below) graphics cards and Windows 8 may have issues. Please make sure to try the demo before purchasing!

    • OS: Windows XP, Vista, 7
    • Processor: Intel 2.77GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.23gig
    • Video Card: OpenGL 2.1 compatible dedicated graphics card
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card
    • Nb. This is an Early Access game. A demo has been provided so you can be sure the game runs on your set-up to your satisfaction.

    • OS: OS X Snow Leopard 10.6.3, or later.
    • Processor: Intel 2.77GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.23gig
    • Video Card: OpenGL 2.1 compatible dedicated graphics card
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card
    • Nb. This is an Early Access game. A demo has been provided so you can be sure the game runs on your set-up to your satisfaction.

    • Processor: Intel 2.77GHz Dual Core
    • Memory: 2Gb Ram
    • Hard Disk Space: 1.23gig
    • Video Card: OpenGL 2.1 compatible dedicated graphics card
    • Sound: OpenAL compatible sound card
Helpful customer reviews
170 of 181 people (94%) found this review helpful
28.9 hrs on record
Early Access Review
One of my absolute favorite games of all time; however it still needs a lot of work.
No other game has ever captured the true essence of zombie apocalypse as Project Zomboid has.

In Zomboid you have to be smart, resourceful and careful. In many cases, not scouting out and planning your approach could very easily mean your death. Zombies are a real threat here; the smallest scratch can be fatal.
Despite the graphics and the camera style (which personally I love), there have been some situations that have had my heart racing and my hair left standing up. The smallest event can have great consequences if incorrectly handled.

Don’t like your slow, one-bite-kill zombies? Customise them the way you like in the sandbox mode! Live in the zombie apocalypse you want, with the world rules you want! Don’t like that the water and electricity shut off after a few weeks? Change it! Don’t like the way the zombie virus is spread? Change it! Maybe you’re a fast runner Left 4 Dead type zombie lover (good luck you crazy ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥) or maybe you like the slow but intelligent zombies that open doors and like to watch you sleep… All up to you!

Zomboid is the zombie game for the strategic man, the man that thinks before he does and the man that cries himself to sleep at night. If you are any of those things… This game is a thrill to play!

I have yet to try out the multiplayer, but I’m sure it’ll be a blast.
Posted: May 8
Was this review helpful? Yes No
385 of 490 people (79%) found this review helpful
84.6 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I woke up one morning cold and dreary. To find the monsters outside my window bold and eerie.

I grasped my lucky baseball bat and swung hard into the black. To my suprise it was not two or three but a whole army of undead waiting for a snack.

They grabed my arms and pulled with such fright pushing me to the ground. Out of the corner of my eye I see my shotgun, oh old friend you'll never shot another round.

The world fades to black. "You survived: 457 days, 11 hours, and 37 minutes"

Time to start another game. Muldraugh or West Point?

- 10 out of 10 would play again.
Posted: June 9
Was this review helpful? Yes No
370 of 527 people (70%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Early Access Review
Drank bleach, jumped out the window, got infected and suffocated my wife with a pillow. Then I started playing Project Zomboid, quite the game.
Posted: July 23
Was this review helpful? Yes No
422 of 628 people (67%) found this review helpful
127.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I defended a pizza shop in my underwear with nothing but a shotgun and a bottle of whisky and stayed like that for 3 days

10/10
Posted: April 29
Was this review helpful? Yes No
280 of 464 people (60%) found this review helpful
69.1 hrs on record
Early Access Review
I cooked a dead mouse and forgot it in the oven over night. My house burns down. 12/10
Posted: June 19
Was this review helpful? Yes No
905 of 978 people (93%) found this review helpful
42.3 hrs on record
Early Access Review
"This is the story of how you died"

Project Zomboid is one of the few Zombie survival games that actually tries to have everything loved from the genre. Crafting, cooking and farming. Barricade windows and doors, build a safe house and scavenge supplies to stay alive.

Using the skills to build and cook or fight will allow you to become better at them, so there is some character progression.

Also let's not forget the awesome music in this game. Highly reccomended!

If I had to compare it to any games I would say it is like the sims+ Don't starve+ night of the living dead.
Future plans are in place to add npc's other than zombies and polish to the engine and graphics.
It really is quite addicting and a great early access title to get your hands on. Especially if you liked state of decay and wanted a little more. Also word going around that a story campaign will be put in as well.

With amazing details like food degradation and injury/ illness/ exposure to cold and heat/ mood debuffs/ weapon durability/ character encumberance/ sound and light attraction of the zombies this game can be a nice challenge on the nice open maps.
It isn't an FPS but it plays great and has similar controls to an FPS.

Just remember this is Early Access and there are some bugs and such. As it stands the game is very much in a good playable state and well worth the money. Hearing about the coming changes to this title, I am even more stoked about this particular purchase.
Posted: November 25, 2013
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